Swim Like a Fish: Get Neutrally Buoyant Using the Fin Pivot
Have you ever burned through your air because you were kicking to stay up off the ocean floor? Have you ever been distracted by some interesting creature and accidentally floated to the surface? You can have more control of yourself underwater.
Like fish, divers should be able to swim and float motionlessly without changing depth. This is called neutral buoyancy, and may be explained in layman’s terms as hovering in the water without rising to the surface or falling towards the bottom. Divers can achieve neutral buoyancy by adjusting their buoyancy compensators (BCs) and using their lungs.
The fin pivot is taught in basic scuba certification courses because proper buoyancy control is essential to safe diving. Diving becomes effortless when divers are not struggling to maintain a position in the water. Divers who have learned to achieve neutral buoyancy find they can last longer underwater on a single tank of air because they reduce their physical exertion. Mastery of neutral buoyancy techniques also helps divers avoid ascending too quickly, which is extremely dangerous in diving: it can cause lung overexpansion (popped lungs) and decompression illness (the bends).
The fin pivot is a basic technique from scuba certification courses that helps divers to master neutral buoyancy using their lungs and BCDs. The concept is that a diver who has the correct amount of air in his BCD to be neutrally buoyant can move up and down by inflating and deflating his lungs (breathing in and out). The fin pivot can be preformed immediately after descent or at any point during a dive when a diver feels that he or she is not neutrally buoyant.